Reflections on things from CILIP Wales conference 12-13th May 2011

I’m not going to produce a report of each speaker’s presentations because most of the presentations will be available on the CILIP website, and Sharon Crossan (RSC Wales) has written comprehensively on quite a few of them. Instead, I’ll reflect on some of my observations and key things I learnt.

One observation is the rise in the number of delegates with laptops for taking notes (or increasingly tweeting), or smartphones for tweeting. I’ve started taking a small laptop to conferences now as it saves a lot of time typing up poorly written notes. I found that I couldn’t triple multi-task though: I couldn’t listen and look at the speaker, type notes and tweet, so I generally abandoned tweeting and opted for typing reasonably detailed notes.

Phil Bradley’s talk (with surely an award-winning title and closing interactive video with Dr Who), highlighted the top 11 social media tools that libraries (and museums and archives) should get to grips with in order to communicate more effectively. See Sharon’s blog for the list. During a later conversation with Phil we discussed the difference between using them as a consumer e.g. reading a blog, and as a creator e.g. writing a blog. Unfortunately, many librarians (in all sectors, other than HE), are still prevented from accessing social media and social networking platforms, either as consumers or creators. The survey I undertook jointly with the marketing project officers in 2010 and available on the CyMAL website reveals the situation in libraries in Wales (and which is probably applicable to the UK as well). Having been given official permission to have a blog after presenting a business case I intend to write a blog about this in the future to share my tips.

I am keen to make more use of some of the tools that Phil outlined and to integrate them more in my work, for example, making relevant bookmarks in my delicious account available via my blog and sharing my work-based netvibes page with colleagues and maybe integrate here as well.

From the virtual to the physical space. Dr  Judith Keene’s talk about the new Hive (a new shared library between Worcester city library and the university, opening July 2012) was very interesting and highlighted that we often discuss ‘shared services’ but may have different perceptions about what ‘shared’ means. This is important for me to remember as I work a lot with librarians in Wales on partnership projects, joint working etc, all-Wales activities.  Some of the tips from the Hive are things I will keep in mind for the forthcoming Libraries Inspire strategy e.g. keep vision clear, agree core values at the start, focus on the benefits for users and look for enhanced opportunities.

Annie Mauger’s talk about CILIP, its challenges and future was also interesting and it was good to see that there is clear awareness of the different four nations of the UK. She mentioned that Wales was doing well in the library world in many respects – hurray!

The closing presentation was from Bethan Ruddock representing Voices for the Library. This was a rousing talk about what a bunch of 10 dispersed librarians can achieve on no budget and with no time, to harness the momentum of support for libraries across the UK. She discussed how they used different social media channels for different purposes and the need to get out of the echo chamber, amongst other things.

There’s certainly plenty that can be done if libraries are to survive and thrive (the conference theme).

About alysontyler

Civil servant, yoga teacher and former librarian.
This entry was posted in Buildings, CILIP, Conferences, Social media & social networking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reflections on things from CILIP Wales conference 12-13th May 2011

  1. Pingback: Meeting the future library leaders | Alyson's Welsh libraries blog

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